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ERIC Number: ED522138
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 311
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-4390-7
An Exploration of Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Mathematical Beliefs
Shilling, Leah Nicole
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
The important role of beliefs in the learning and teaching of mathematics has been largely acknowledged in the literature. Pre-service teachers, in particular, have been shown to possess mathematical beliefs that are often traditional in nature (i.e. viewing teachers as the transmitters of knowledge and students as the passive recipients of that knowledge). These beliefs, which are formed long before the pre-service teachers enter their teacher education programs, often provide the foundation for their future teaching practices. An important role of teacher education programs, then, is to encourage the development (or modification) of beliefs that will support the kind of (reform) mathematics instruction promoted in these programs. In this dissertation I explored the impact of different experiences within teacher education programs, particularly those related to mathematics courses, on the mathematical beliefs of pre-service elementary teachers. This exploration was structured around 3 interrelated strands of work. The first strand drew from the existing literature to illuminate the concept of beliefs and identify ways in which teacher education programs may influence and promote change in the beliefs of pre-service teachers. This review also highlighted the need to further investigate the role and impact of mathematics courses for pre-service teachers. The second strand introduced an analytic framework to examine the different views about mathematics promoted in textbooks used in mathematics courses. The findings demonstrated that the linguistic choices made by textbook authors may promote different views about mathematics and, as a result, create different learning opportunities for pre-service teachers. These findings may have several implications for textbook authors and those in teacher education programs who make decisions about textbook adoption. Finally, the third strand investigated the impact of the curriculum materials and instruction in a research-based mathematics course on the beliefs of 25 pre-service elementary teachers. The findings showed that while beliefs are often highly resistant to change, it is possible to motivate change during a single mathematics course. Specifically, the nature of the curriculum materials and the role of the teacher educator in the course were found to have an important impact on the mathematical beliefs of the pre-service teachers. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A